How to Diagnose Klebsiella Infections

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Klebsiella infections can be caused by any bacteria of the Klebsiella genus, although Klebsiella pneumoniae is the most common cause. This species is harmful because it produces an enterotoxin that is stable at body temperature. Klebsiella infections are common in hospitals where and are dangerous because its antibiotic resistance can be transmitted to other species of bacteria. The following steps will show how to diagnose klebsiella infections.

  • Look for klebsiella infections in patients with underlying diseases such as alcoholism, diabetes and chronic lung disease.

  • Expect klebsiella infections to progress like classic pneumonia with a severe, rapid onset. Patients usually get chills, a high fever and a cough that produces a lot of mucus that is often thick and tinged with blood. Klebsiella pneumonia frequently destroys lung tissue and causes pleural abscesses.

  • Observe general urinary tract infections of klebsiella similar to other common organisms.

  • Suggest a clinical diagnosis of a klebsiella infection in high-risk patients with pneumonia and chest pains mostly in the upper lobes. Leukocytosis with a left shift is sometimes present.

  • Confirm the diagnosis of a klebsiella infection in the laboratory with a Gram stain of the sputum. Klebsiellae are short, plump gram-negative bacilli. They are easily grown and have no special culture requirements. Klebisiellae almost always ferment lactose, are urease-positive and indole-negative. Klebisiellae do not produce hydrogen sulfide and are positive on methyl red and Voges-Proskauer tests. Serology is not helpful in detecting Klebsiella.

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